Are there opportunites in Telford and Wrekin site allocations consultation?
Published June 3rd, 2014
As Telford and Wrekin ‘Shaping Places’ site allocations consultation gets underway, will there be opportunities for me to put forward sites for potential development?
A Yes, says Helen Howie, a planning consultant with Berrys based at Shrewsbury. Telford and Wrekin Council are consulting on where new development should go. They will allocate land for development up to 2031 in their new Local Plan, which they have called the ‘Shaping Places’ Plan.
Q. Hasn’t Telford grown enough already?
A. Telford was originally designed as a new town that would cater a much larger population – about double its current size. The Council is proud of what the town can offer in terms of its infrastructure, green spaces and employment opportunities and is branding Telford as a “green town”. Telford can certainly boast a better network of footpaths, cycle ways and bridleways than most parts of England. The Plan will protect the landscape and green network as a key asset for the town, directing development to locations that won’t harm the borough’s natural environment.
Q. Why is Telford still growing?
A The population of the town continues to grow as more and more people locate there for jobs and a better quality of life. The Office of National Statistics estimates that tens of thousands of new homes will be needed in Telford over the coming decades, just to keep up with natural population growth, smaller household sizes and people moving into the area. Authoritative demographic projections on the number of homes needed are published by the Office of National Statistics every six years, with the next up-to-date version expected in November 2014,
Q. How many new houses are planned?
A. The Council consulted last year on a three growth options, ranging from 13,640 homes to 26,500 homes. After considering the responses it received last summer, Telford and Wrekin Council has decided to opt for a plan target of 20,000 homes to be built over 2011-2031. It is reserving the right to adjust this figure once the Office for National Statistics up-dated projections are published later this year.
Q. Where will all these new buildings go?
A. The Shaping Places Plan includes 125 proposed sites for housing and employment-related developments. The majority are around Telford itself but there are also a significant number around Newport, Wellington and the villages.
Q. What are the Council looking for?
A. The challenge for the Council is to produce a Plan that delivers enough land for development whilst simultaneously reinforcing its green image. The Shaping Places consultation explains that the Council’s growth strategy has at its heart a network of green space and landscape. One of the Plan’s key aims is to strengthen the identity of Telford as a ‘green town’ and the Plan will feature a network of ‘Green Ways’. Sites that fit with this aspiration, or which can actively contribute to ‘greening’ Telford with the provision of new rights of way or by offering improvements to the natural environment, will be welcomed. Q. When will the Plan be finalised?
A. This is a key stage, as it is the last big opportunity to suggest new sites. The Council will use the results of this consultation to produce a final Local Plan that will then be submitted to the Secretary of State in 2015. He will appoint a Planning Inspector to examine the Plan, probably in 2016. All being well the Council will adopt the Plan in late 2016. However the best time to influence the Plan is now, while it is still flexible and before the formalised final stages.
Q. How can I comment?
A. The consultation runs from May 6 until June 17. Comments can be made online via the Council’s website. If you prefer professional representation, Berry’s planning team are experts on Telford & Wrekin’s Plan and can make professional comments on your behalf. Berrys include former local authority staff who have 14 years’ experience of preparing Local Plans and who understand the technical issues involved, and also has a wealth of experience of helping landowners identify sites that might be suitable for development and submitting representations for or against particular sites.
For more information contact Helen.Howie@berrys.uk.com or telephone her at the Shrewsbury office on 01743 239028 mobile: 07741 313576